U.S. envoy vows response to Sudan atrocities

STORY: The U.S. envoy to the United Nations has said the United States will do "everything in our power to prevent and respond to mass atrocities" during Sudan's war.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield made that comment in a Chad border town on Wednesday (September 6), as she met with Sudanese refugees who had fled ethnic and sexual violence.

"I have to tell you that I was really shaken to my core by some of the horrors that Sudanese people have endured."

War broke out in Sudan in April.

Tensions between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces - who jointly staged a coup in 2021 - erupted into fighting over a planned transition to civilian rule.

In Adre, Thomas-Greenfield announced high-profile sanctions including against the deputy leader of the RSF, Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, for human rights abuses.

He is also the brother of the RSF commander Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo and on Thursday (September 7) described the sanctions as "unfair".

Thomas-Greenfield compared the current situation with the atrocities committed in Sudan's Darfur region in the early 2000s - describing reports of women being repeatedly gang-raped, and aerial photographs of mass graves.

The U.N. estimates some 300,000 people were killed in Darfur when so-called Janjaweed militias helped the army crush a rebellion by mainly non-Arab groups.

The RSF was later formed out of the Janjaweed.

Fast forward two decades, and the U.N. says some 380,000 refugees have fled to Chad - with hundreds of thousands more escaping to Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

During her visit, Thomas-Greenfield visited a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital where patients were mostly being treated for malnutrition.

"It is heartbreaking to watch children suffer because of senseless conflict, and we must do everything possible to save lives, to save their lives before it's too late."

Half of Sudan's 49 million people need help, the U.N. says, and it has appealed for $2.6 billion.

So far it has secured just 26% of the amount.

Thomas-Greenfield described that as "shameful" and urged the international community to "do more and give more."